What the Man Who
Ought to Know
THE 20th CENTURY
LIBRARY Of CONGRESS
Two Copies Received
JAN 2 1906
^^./ ' ^ '0 '
CLASS ^ XXc, No.
1 ^ S /-i
The 20th Cenuury
IS DEDICATED TO THOSE
MEN WHO HAVE DIFFICULTIES IN
SHAVING, IN HOPE THAT ITS CONTENTS
WII.L BE OF ASSISTANCE IN REMEDY-
ING THEIR TROUBLES.
THE object of this little book is to
furnish clear and full information about
the art of shaving. There are few men
who do not experience more or less dif-
ficulty in shaving themselves, and many
who, after a few unsuccessful attempts,
give it up in dispair and go to the barber
shop. We believe most of these would
much prefer to shave themselves if only
they could do as well as a barber.
The advantages, indeed, seem to be
wholly with the man who shaves him-
self. In the first place the shaving is
done in the privacy if his own room. He
has his own razor, cup, soap, brush and
towels, which can be kept scrupulously
clean and sanitarv. thus avoidinsf the
constant danger of infection. There is
no long wait for the call of "next.'' After
the first cost of the outfit there is noth-
ing- to pay, either for services or "tips."
Thus in point of time, money and health,,
the man who shaves himself is a decided
There are few things in life that are
really difficult to perform when one thor-
oughly knows how to do them. Shaving
is no exception. The art of shaving can
be easily acquired if one only has the
will, and the necessary practical infor-
mation. This book, which, as far as we
are aware, is the only one treating the
subject at all completely, endeavors to
supply such information ; as well for the
improvement of men accustomed to
shave themselves, as for the instruction
of beginners. We believe that any man
who will carefully read and follow the
instructions here given, will, with some
little practice, soon be able to shave him-
self easily and even better than the bar-
1 er cnn do it fin* him.
I. The Shaving Outfit 9
II. The Razor n
IIL Care of the Razor 19
IV. The Safety Razor 21
V. The Hone 23
VI. How to Use the Hone 29
VII. The Strop 37
VIII. How to Strop the Razor 41
IX. The Brush 45
X. The Cup 48
XI. The Soap 5o
XII. The Lather 53
XIII. Instructions to Beginners 56
XIV. The Right Way to Shave 61
XV. Care of the Face After
XVI. Irritation of the Skin — Its
Cause and Prevention 78
Shaving Made Easy
What the Man Who Shaves
Ought to Know
THE SHAVING OUTFIT.
First-class tools are necessary at the
very outset. No matter how skillfully one
may handle inferior tools, they will in-
variably produce poor results..
Probably as many failures have re-
sulted from the use of poor razors,
strops, or soap as from the lack of knowl-
edge how to use them. In order that
the best possible results may be attained,
10 SPIAVING MADE EASY.
good tools and skill in using flicni sliould
go hand in hand.
The shaving outfit should consist of
one or two good razors, a first-class
strop, a mirror, a cup, a brush, a cake
of shaving soap, and a bottle of either
bay nnn. witch hazel, or some other
good face lotion. These constitute what
may be considered the necessary articles,
and to these mav be added a number of
others, such as a good hone, magnesia or
talcum powder, astringent or styptic
pencils, antiseptic lotions, etc. wdiich.
while not absolutely requisite, will never-
theless add much to the convenience,,
comfort and luxury of the shave.
The most important article of the shav-
ing outfit is of course the razor, and
AN IDEAL RAZOR.
Upon its selection your success or failure
in self-shaving will largely depend.
Never purchase a razor because it hap-
pens to be cheap ; a poor razor is dear at
12 SII.WINC MADK EASY.
any price. You want not the cheapest,
l)ut the best.
A good razor if rightly used, will last
for years, and will be a source of contin-
ual pleasure when used, whereas a poor
razor will do inferior work, irritate the
skin and make the face sore, and be a
continual source of trouble and annoy-
ance. If you have such a razor, the
sooner you throw it aside and substi-
tute a good one, the better.
The principal point to be considered in
selecting a razor is the quality of the
steel. By "quality^' is meant its temper
or degree of solidity, and its conseq^ient
capability of receiving, even after a series
of years, a firm and fine edge. This
is undoubtedly the first point to which
the purchaser should give attention. By
what means though, can he judge of the
temper of a razor without using it ? The
unassisted eye is not sufficient. Its
power extends no further than to the
discovery of defects the most striking
and injurious. The irregularities in a
SHAVING MADE EASY. I3
razor's edge, which arise from improper
tempering and lack of skill in working,
are usually so minute, that they may
remain undistinguished until the razor
is used. They will nevertheless very sen-
sibly add to the friction the razor pro-
duces on the skin and particularly if it
happens to be thin and tender. There
are two ways of judging of the temper
of a razor; one of these is practically in-
fallible — viz : — the examination of the
blade and its edge by means of a mi-
It will be readily admitted that the real
excellence of a razor is in direct propor-
tion to the firmness and unbroken regu-
larity of its edge. When a razor is too
brittle, in consequence of having been
either to much heated in the process of
hardening, or not sufficiently cooled in
that of tempering, it cannot possibly take
a good cutting edge, no matter how
much skill may be employed in honing
and stropping it. Such defects are
quickly detected by the use of a micro-
14 SHAVING MADE EASY.
scope in the hands of an experienced
and attentive observer.
The other method of testing the
temper, while not infalUble, will never-
theless be of assistance even to the most
inexperienced. It consists of catching
the point of the blade under the thumb
nail, and then letting the nail slip off
quickly. If the blade gives a good clear
ring, you may conclude that it is well
tempered, but if it does not ring full and
clear it is an indication that the blade is
The Concave Blade.
The thinnest edge is always the sharp-
est. A blade ought therefore to be as
thin as the strength of the metal com-
posing it will permit. Nearly all razors
are now made "hollow-ground'^ or **con-
cave" — a great improvement over the
old stvle of thick blade. The edo-e of
the hollow-ground razor is thinner and
therefore cuts better, and is much easier
to keep sharp.
Almost anv desired make of razor mav
SHAVING MADE EASY. 1^
be had in either half, three-quarters, or
full concave. The full concave blade is
of course the thinnest. In view of the
fact that the thinner the edge the sharper
the instrument, mO'St purchasers of a
razor ciuite naturally conclude that the
full concave blade is the best. Our im-
pression is that this is a mistake; that
the full concave blade is not so good for
shaving most beards as the three-quar-
ters concave. In a very deeply hollow
ground razor, the blade is ground ex-
tremely thin, back to a line some dis-
tance from the edge. When such an
edge — almost as thin as paper — comes
in contact with a stiff beard, unless the
the blade is held very flat upon the face,
it is quite likely to bend and spring, and
a cut will be the result.
Width of the Blade.
The width of the blade is another
point that should receive attention. As
a rule we believe the beginner selects too
wide a blade. A comparatively narrow
one, in the size known as the 4-8 is the
l6 SHAVING MADE EASY.
SHOWING DIFFERENT WIDTHS OF BLADES.
S H A \' 1 N G M . \ 1) !•: \i A S N
bes*^ for most purposes, as it does not
spring on the face so readily as the wide
blade, yet it follows the contours of the
face more closely, and in general is man-
aged more easily.
Point of the Blade.
The point of the razor ought to l^e
sliehtlv rounded as shown in the illus-
A. THE ROUND POINTED BLADE.
B. THE SHARP POINTED BLADE.
tration. While this is seemingly a small
matter, yet a sharp point has probably
occasioned more cuts than almost any
Ih SHAVlXr. MADI-: KASV.
Other cause. If you have a razor with a
sharp point, you can round it off, on the
edge of the hone. You should not use
the top surface of the hone for this pur-
pose, for if you do you are quite Hkely
to scratch the hone and spoil it. Use
water freely otherwise the blade will be-
come heated and that would quickly
spoil its temper.
CARE OF THE RAZOR.
Take good care of your razor. Many
a fine razor has been spoiled by care-
lessness and neglect on the part of the
user. The life of a razor will depend
entirely on the care given it. Never put
it away until it has first been wiped thor-
oughly dry, using a piece of chamois
skin for this purpose. Even this will not
remove all the moisture, so the blade
should be drawn across the strop a few
times, or else left exposed to the air for
a few moments until the little particles
of moisture not removed by the cloth
have evaporated. Then you may replace
20 Sll.WlNG MADE EASY.
the razor in its case with the expectation
of finding it in good condition when you
next use it.
Rusting must be prevented, especially
upon the edge, which seems to rust more
quickly than any other part of the blade.
A tiny rust spot on this delicate line, by
causing the metal to soften and crumble
at that point, will soon end the useful-
ness of the razor, unless the edge is
ground back past the rust spot. In such
a case there is always the liability of not
getting a good edge.
In wiping the lather ofif the blade
never use a glazed or coarse paper.
Tissue paper is the best. ^lany overlook
this point and by drawing the blade
straight across a glazed or hard finished
paper, turn the edge, and then wonder
wdiy the razor has lost its keenness.
Draw the blade over the paper obliquely,
away from the edge, in the same direc-
tion as when stropping it.
THE SAFETY RAZOR.
Of recent years a great number of
safety razors have been invented and
placed on the market, the manufacturers
of each claiming that theirs are superior
to all others and that they have at last
produced a razor that is destined to rev-
One thing may be said of safety ^
razors in general — that if a man uses
one he is less likely to cut himself, but
this is all that can reasonably be said
in their favor. Of course, if it were im-,
possible to shave with the ordinary ^
razor without cutting one's self, then the
22 SHAVING MADE EASY.
safety razor would become a necessity.
The truth is, however, that anyone who
has a good keen smooth-cutting razor,
lathers the face thoroughly, and will learn
— if he does not already know — how to
handle the razor properly, will run
almost no danger. Such a man will
seldom cut himself.
On the other hand, most of the safety
razors are difficult to keep clean and dry,
and therefore free from rust; and owing
to the difficulty of stropping them, it is
almost, if not quite impossible to keep
them sharp. It is also difficult to make
the correct stroke with them. Probably
a hundred thousand safety razors have
been sold in the United States within the
past few years and it is extremely doubt-
ful if ten per cent, of them are now in
The edge of a razor, whtn viewed
under a powerful microscope, presents
an appearance very different from that
seen by the unaided eye. Unmagnified,
the edge appears to be a continuous un-
broken Hue. Such actually is not the
case, for the microscope reveals the fact
that, instead of being straight and un-
broken, the edge is in reality composed
of a great number of minute points
much resembling the teeth of a saw.
These points or teeth follow each
other throughout the entire length of the
blade, and bv their extreme minuteness
;4 SHAVING MADE EASY.
1:1 )(;]•: ()1~ THE RAZCJR AS IT APPEARS UNDER
and unbroken regularity give the edge
its exceeding keenness. Now if the
razor becomes dull, these teeth will be
less even and regular and their edges
will be rounded and worn away. To
sharpen the razor, therefore, it is nec-
essary — by making the edge as thin as
possible — to restore these little teeth to
their original condition. This cannot be
done by stropping, but is accomplished
only by [he prnct'ss known as honing.
SHAVING MADE EASY. 2^
It has been asserted by some, that
when once the razor has been ground
and set, the strop alone without further
honing- or grinding is sufficient to keep
it in order. This opinion has eminated
from certain makers of razor-strops,
who wish to induce the pubhc to pur-
chase their goods. Thev represent their
strops as having been "metahzed," or
otherwise treated with some kind of
preparation that makes honing unneces-
sary. As a rule, we would advise the
reader to beware of these "wonder-work-
ing-strops." Such preparations may, and
sometimes do, improve the strop, just as
lather when applied to a strop will. im-
prove it, but that they will do more than
this, w^e deny. When the special offices
of the hone and of the strop are fully
understood, it will at once become ap-
parent that no strop can possibly take
the place of a hone.
The object of honing a razor is to
make its edge as tliiii and flat as a proper
attention to the degree of firmness re-
26 SHAVING MADE EASY.
quired will permit. This is accom-
plished by the hard fine grit of the hone
cutting and wearing away the steel.
The strop cannot do this. On the con-
trary, stropping a razor, instead of giv-
ing it a thin and fiat edge, always has a
tendency to produce a rounded one. This
results from the very nature of the strop,
which always ''gives*' or sags more or
less during the process of stropping, and
the more the strop is permitted to sag,,
the sooner will such an edge be produced,
and in proportion as the edge assumes
this rounded form, it losses its keenness.
The flattest and thinnest edge is always
the sharpest, and the only way to impart
such an edge to a razor is by means of
Before explaining the process of hon-
ing, it may be well to say a word about
the different kinds of hones, so that
should the reader wish to purchase one,
he may do it intelligently.
There are two distinct classes of hones
in general use, — one known as the rock
SHAVING MADE EASY. 2J
hone, on account of its being cut from
the natural rock, and the other manu-
factured. A great number of hones are
produced in different parts of the United
States, but few that are really suitable for
sharpening razors. A razor hone must
be of the very finest quality. The natu-
ral stones are usually composed princi-
pally of silica, which is one of the sharp-
est cutting minerals known. It easily
cuts the hardest steel and the fine grit
imparts a very smooth edge to a razor.
The "Arkansas," found near the famous
Hot Springs, is one of this variety, but
owing to the difficulty of obtaining this
stone, and the great waste in cutting it,
the supply is limited and the price high.
Most of the razor hones used in the
2% SHAVING MADE EASY.
United States are imported. The most
noted are the German water hones, the
oil hones from Belgium, and the Swaty
hones from Austria. The last named are
very reasonable in price and quite a fav-
orite among barbers. They are a manu-
factured hone, and in some respects the
manufactured hones are superior to the
natural stones, in that they are free from
scams and uneven spots and perfectly
uniform in texture.
^lost men have the idea that honing
is a dit^cult operation and should be un-
dertaken only by expert cutlers or bar-
bers. Very few seem to think that they
can hone there own razors. How this
impression became current, it is difficult
to say. \\'e venture to assert, how-
ever, that honing a razor is at least as
easy as stropping it. In this case as in
many others, the difficulty arises from
su'^posinq- there is a difficulty.
How to Use the H
HOW TO USE THE HONE.
The hone being the only means of
sharpening a dull razor, its use becomes
at once of the utmost importance to those
who wish to keep their razors in perfect
Hones are seldom used dry, but are
usually covered with either water, lather
or oil : first — to prevent heating the blade
which would quickly spoil its temper;
second — to keep the particles of steel
that are ground off the blade from enter-
ing the pores of the stone, which would
soon fill up and result in what is known
as a glazed surface; and third — to make
SIIAVINC; MADE EASY. 3 1
tlie surface of the hone as smooth as pos-
Before commencing tlie operation,
wipe the hone clean, then put on a few
drops of oil or else cover it with water
or lather. This will float the little
particles of steel ground off the razor,
thus preventing them from remaining
directly on the hone to impede its full
and equal effect. With most hones you
may use either water, lather or oil ; but
do not change from one to the other;
whichever you begin with, use that ex-
clusively. It requies a longer time to
produce a keen edge when oil is used
but the edge is somewhat smoother.
Most barbers use lather and we should
advise the beginner to do so.
Directions for Honing.
The hone, with its fine surface up,
should be placed perfectly flat on a table
or other solid foundation. (The rough
surface is intended merely as a support
and not for use.) x\fter covering the
32 SHAVING MADE EASY.
HOW TO HONE THE R.\ZOR.
SHAVING MADE EASY. 33
hone with lather, place the razor flat
upon it as shown in Fig. A. With the
thumb and fore finger, grasp the razor
back of the, heel, so as to have firm hold
of both the blade and the handle. Draw
the blade from heel to point, forward
against the edge, and with a moderate
degree of pressure, until it comes into
the position shown in Fig. B. Now,
without lifting the blade from the stone,
turn the edge up, so that the razor rests
on the back of the blade. Slide it for-
ward on its back from point to heel
and let it fall into the position indicated
in Fig. C. Push the blade from heel to
point against the edge, finishing the
stroke as in Fig. D. Turn the blade
on its back, slide from point to heel and
let it fall into the first position, as shown
in Fig. A. Continue honino^ until the
blade is sufiiciently keen and free from
nicks and inequalities. This may be
known by drawing the edge, very lightly,
across the moistened thumb nail. If it
sticks to the nail sliehtlv, it is an indica-
34 SHAVING MADE EASY.
tion that the honing has developed the
little teeth which constitute the perfect
razor edge, and that the razor is now
ready for stropping.
If the honing be carried too far, a
"wire edge" will be produced, and this
must be removed. To do this, draw the
edge with a steady hand across the
moistened thumb nail in the manner in-
dicated above. The blade should then
be drawn once or twice across the hone
as before, in order to unite all parts of
the edge and cause a perfect equality of
keenness from one end of the blade to
the other. With this done, the operation
is in general performed, and the won-
drous dit^culty of honing the razor van-
The following directions should be
First — The blade should be held per-
fectly Hat on the hone, so that the back,
as well as the edge, touches the stone.
If the back is raised from the stone so
SHAVING MADE EASY. 35
that only the edge touches, the bevel will
be short and the edge blunt.
Second — In drawing the blade across
the hone diagonally against the edge,
the heel should be about one and a half
inches in advance of the point, and care
should be taken to maintain the same
angle when the stroke is reversed and
throughout the entire operation. This
sets the teeth at the proper angle, that
is, slightly inclined toward the heel. We
have likened the edge of a razor to that
of a saw, but there is this difference:
saw teeth incline away from the handle
and toward the point, while the razor
teeth incline away from the point and
toward the heel. This is correct in
principle, for the saw in use is pushed
away from the handle toward the point,
while the razor is usually drawn away
from the point toward the heel.
Third — Press with equal force on all
parts of the edge. With a good hone,
verv little pressure will be required.
The time required to hone a razor
36 SII.WIXG MADF. EASY.
depends nirch on the condition of the
razor and the hardness of the steel com-
posing- it. When the edge is in the usual
condition — that is when it is free from
nicks and has merely hecome thick in
consequence of the injudicious use of
the razor strop — it will need very little
honing : eight or ten strokes in each
direction will be quite sufficient. When,
however, the edge has nicks : though so
small as to be scarcely perceptible, the
operation will require more time and at-
tention. Should the nicks be large, it
will be better to send the razor to a
cutler to be ground.
If the razor is well cared for and pro-
perly stropped, it will not require very
frequent honing, probably not oftener
than once in from six to eight weeks.
When it is required you will become
aware of it. from the fact that stropping-
will not sharpen it.
The object of honing the razor, as has
been explained, is to abraid and wear
away the edge of the blade so that it
becomes as thin as possible. But when
this is done, the process of sharpening
the razor is still incomplete, for the
edge, when taken from the hone, is left
rorgh and unfit to put on the face. An-
other process is necessary, and that is
stropping. The object of stropping is
not to make the blade thinner, but to
smooth the edge, taking ofif the rough
surface of the little teeth which have been
developed, and setting them all in perfect
38 SHAVING MADE EASY.
alignment. This gives the razor its ex-
Yen should have a first-class strop.
It little matters how good yonr razor
may be if your strop is a poor one, for
it is absolutely impossible to keep a razor
in good condition if the strop is of poor
quality or ro-.-gh and haggled. Many
a razor has been blamed when the
fault lie entirely with the strop and
the manner of using it. So called sharp-
ening preparations, sometimes applied to
the surface of strops, as a substiti'te
for the hone, should be avoided. ]\Iost
of them contain acid or emery, which
is likelv to gradually spoil th.e temper of
There are many kinds of strops
manufact^-red and placed on the market,
some good and some bad. The most
common is the swing strop, made of
leather or hor.^e hide on one side and
canvas or hose on the other. Some of
the cheaper grades have a very coarse
amz'as, and unless vou wish to ruin vonr
SHAVING MADE EASY. 39
razor, you should never put it on such a
strop. In our opinion a good leather or
horse hide strop is the best, and meets
every requirement; but if a combination
strop is used, the hnen or hose side
shorld be of the finest quahty.
The strop should be not less than
twenty inches long and two inches wide.
Its surface should be very soft and
smooth — not glazed — and you can tell
whether it is so, by rubbing the hand over
it. Do not fold the strop when putting
it away, for if you do you are likely to
crack or roughen the surface, and this
will injure the edge of the blade when
it is drawn across it.
Care of the Strop.
After the strop has been put to a
great deal of use, it will sometimes be
found that it will not "take hold" on the
razor — that is it will allow the blade to
slip over it with little or no resistance
and thus fail to impart a keen, smooth-
cutting edge. The reason is that the
40 SHAVING MADE EASY.
Strop has become dry and porous. Do not
attempt to remedy the matter by apply-
ing oil or razor paste ; these will only
make matters worse. Hang the strop
on a hook, and with the left hand stretch
as tightly as possible. Apply a good
thick lather to the surface and rub it in
with the palm of the hand. Barbers
sometimes nail the strop to a board and
rrb tlie lather in with a smooth bottle;
but the hand will do quite as well, and
indeed, we think it preferable. What the
strop requires is to have the pores filled
with the lather ; so put on and work in
coat after coat, until the leather will take
up no more. Thai leave the strop to dry.
This simple treatment will completely
change the action of the strop, and the
next time you use it, you will be sur-
prised and delighted to note its improved
effect on the razor. It will have that
"cling" and ^'resistance'' which barbers
so much desire in a strop, and which, in-
deed, is quite essential to its efficiency.
HOW TO STROP THE RAZOR.
Place a hook in a door or a window
casing about four or five feet from the
floor. Put the ring of the strop over
the hook, and hold the handle firmly in
the left hand as shown in the accompany-
ing illustration. The strop should be
pulled tight — not allowed to hang loosely
— otherwise the edge of the razor will
become rounded and require frequent
Open the razor, so that the handle is
in line with the blade. Grasp it firmly
with the right hand, the first two fingers
and thumb holding the razor just back
of the heel, so that perfect control is had
42 SH.WIXC. MADl-: KASV.
of both the blade and handle. With
the razor held in this manner it is an
easy matter to turn the razor back and
forth from one side to the other.
TTDW TO STROP TTTF. RAZOR.
SHAVING MADE EASV 43
Lay the blade flat on the furth?r end
of the strop, as shown in Fig. E, with the
edge away from you. Draw the blade
toward yon, always keeping the heel of
the razor in advance of the point. When
at the end of the strop, rotate the razor
on its back till the nnstroped side of the
blade comes in contact with the strop.
as shown in Fig. F. Then, with the heel
in advance, push the razor away from
yon, until it reaches the further end of
the strop. Again rotate, and continue
the stropping until the razor is sharp.
Always hold the blade at the same
angle, and perfectly flat on the strop.
You will observe that the stroke is exactly
opposite to that used in honing. In hon-
ing, the edge is in advance ; in stropping,
the back. During the operation tJic hack
of the razor should never he taken from
the strop. By observing this, and always
turning the blade on its back, instead of
on the edge, you will avoid cutting the
Beginners should not attempt to make
44 SHAVING MADE EASY.
a quick stroke. Let the stroke be slow
and even, developing speed gradually
until a complete mastery of the move-
ment is acquired.
If the razor is in good condition and
not in need of honing, fifteen or twenty
strokes in each direction will be suffi-
citnt. If, however, the razor should re-
quire honing, no amount of stropping
will put a keen edge on it. It will us-
ually be necessary to strop the razor each
time you shave, and with stiff beards
more than once may be requires! .
Purchase a good brush. The cheap
ones are usually the most expensive in
the end, and nearly always prove unsatls-
SECTIONAL VIEW OF THE BRUSH SHOWING
factory. It shold be remembered that
the vital part of a brush is in the sdfing,
and particular attention should therefore
SHAVING MADE EASY.
be paid to that part of it. Cheap brushes
are commonly set with gUie, rosin or
cement, which soon cracks and becomes
unadhesive ; whereupon tlie bristles fall
out. We recommend a brush made of
bristles or badger hair and set in hard
vulcanized rubber. A brush so con-
structed, with wood, bone or ivory
handle, and hard rubber ferule, will not
shed the bristles or crack open, and with
proper care will last for years.
Do not leave the lather to dry in the
brush, but after shaving rinse it out
thoroughly and dry the brush with a
SHAVING MADE EASY. 4/
towel, before putting away. The cup and
briTsh should be kept clean and away
from dust. Once a week they should be
washed with hot water.
The shaving cup should be of earthen
ware or china, and large enough to ac-
commodate the ordinary round cake of
shaving soap. Some cups are made with
two compartments, one for soap and the
other for water, but this arrangement is
unnecessary, and in fact, not so conve-
nient as the ordinary cup, for it leaves
too little room for making the lather.
If possible, the cake of soap should
entirely fill the bottom of the crp so that
no space is left between the soap and
the sides ; otherwise water will get in
and keep the bottom of the cake con-
SHAVING MADE EASY. 49
tinually soaked. If it is found that the
cake does not quite fill the space, take the
soap out and warm it until it becomes
somewhat soft, then put it back in the
cup, and with the hand press down the
sides all around, thus flattening out the
cake until it quite fills the intervening
space. If at any time the soap should
cleave away from the sides of the cup,
it should be pressed back as at first.
This will be found the most convenient
way of using the soap.
Great care should be taken to keep
the cup scrupulously clean, rinsing it out
thoroughly each time after shaving, in
order to remove any lather that may
have been left unused. Keep the cup
away from dust.
Some use the sticks of shaving soap
and make the lather on the face. While
this is permissable, we think the better
way is to make the lather in the cup and
put it on with the brush.
Next to the razor, the most important
article of the shaving outfit is tlie soap.
In its proper use Hes the real secret of
easy shaving. The razor may be ever so
good, but unless the beard is properly
lathered with a good soap, shaving will
be anything but a pleasure. Use only a
regular recognized standard make of
shaving soap, not, under any circum-
stances, a toilet soap. The latter is not
intended for shaving, and is likely to pro-
duce irritations of the skin and leave
the face rough and sore.
A wrong idea prevails regarding the
SHAVING MADE EASY. 5 1
use of the soap. The popular impression
is that the soap is used for the purpose
of softening the beard, in which condi-
tion it is supposed to be moist easily cut.
This is a mistake. The soap is used,
not to soften the beard, but to produce
exactly the opposite effect — namely, tc
make the hair stiff and brittle, so that
they will present a firm and resisting
surface to the razor. A hair, as is well
known, is a tube composed of a hard
fibrous substance, growing from a bulb
or root, which secretes an oily matter.
This oil works its way up through the
hair, and by permeating all parts, ren-
ders the hair soft and pliable. Now in
this natural oily condition, it is very dif-
ficult to cut the hair with a razor, and it
becomes even more difficult if the beard
be made still softer by the application of
hot water. Many do this, and it is no
wonder they find shaving difficult.
When this is done, the hairs become soft
and limp, and the razor will either slip
over them entirely, or else cut partly
52 SHAVING MADE EASY.
into them, bend them back and sHce them
lengthwise, all the while pulling and
straining them at the roots, and making
the process of shaving most painful.
Now soap has the opposite effect. It con-
tains either alkali, potash or soda, which
when applied to the beard in the form of
lather, unites with the oil of the hair,,
neutralizing it and removing it, and ren-
ders the hairs hard stiff and brittle — in
which condition they may be easily and
readily cut. For the sake of cleanliness,
the face should, of course, be washed
previous to shaving in order to remove
any dirt or grit from the beard, which
might dull the razor ; but before applying
the lather, the face should be well dried
with a towel.
To make the lather, see that the soap
is placed in the cup according to previous
directions. Fill the cup with water, al-
lowing it to stand for a few seconds,
then pour the water out. Usually suffi-
cient water to make the lather will adhere
to the cup, soap and brush. Now with
the brush, mix thoroughly, using a com-
bined stirring and churning motion,
until a good thick lather appears. The
more the brush is rubbed over the soap
the thicker the lather becomes. A great
deal depends upon having the lather just
right. If it is thin and watery, you will
54 SHAVING MADE EASY.
have poor success in shaving. The more
creamy it is, the better will be the effect
of the alkali in stiffening the beard.
Some of the poorer qualities of soap
produce lather very quickly, sometimes
half filling the cup, but it will be found
thin and without lasting qualities, so that
by the time one side of the face has been
shaved, the lather is all gone from the
other. A good soap will produce a thick
creamy lather that will last throughout
the entire process of shaving.
Applying the Lather.
Put the lather on with the brush,
covering every part of the face that you
intend to shave. Then with the fingers
rub it thoroughly into the beard until the
lather has had sufficient time to stiffen
the hairs. Next to having the razor in
perfect condition, this is the most im-
portant thing to do; for it is impossible
to shave easily unless the face is well
lathered and the lather thoroughly work-
ed into the beard. Go over the face once
more with the brush, in order to spread
SHAVING MADE EASY. 55
the lather evenly, and then begin shaving
at once, before the lather has time to
dry. Should it dry while you are shav-
ing, wet the brush slightly and apply
fresh lather. If you prepare your face
in accordance with these instructions, a
keen razor will slip over the face so
easily that shaving will become a real
INSTRUCTIONS TO BEGINNERS.
If you are a young man, just begin-
ning to shave, it is important that you
commence right. It is quite as easy to
learn the right way as the wrong
way. Do not entertain the idea that
it is a difficult matter for one to shave
himself — for there is nothing difficult
about it when you know how. You may
have previously tried and failed, but if
you will now follow the instructions con-
tained in this book, there is no reason
why shaving may not be performed with-
out further difficulties.
SHAVING MADE EASY.
THE RIGHT WAY TO HOLD THE RAZOR.
The accompanying- illustrji' ..n shows
the position in which the razor should
be held. It will be observed that the
handle is thrown well back past the heel.
The first three fingers rest on the back
of the blade, with the little finger over
the crook at the end, ar.d the thumb on
the side of the blade, near the middle.
In this position, with the handle acting as
58 SHAVING MADE EASY.
a balance, the razor will be under per-
fect control, and there will be little dan-
ger of cutting oneself. This position can
be maintained throughout most of the
process of shaving, although it may be
mcessary to dhange it slightly while
shaving certain parts, as for instance
the neck, under the jaw. But whatever
the position, endeavor to have the razor
at all times under perfect control. The
position here indicated, is the one we
should certainly advise the beginner to-
adopt, but if a man, from long continued
use has formed the habit of holding the
razor in a different way, any change
will prove difficult and may not be advis-
Owing no doubt largely to individual
temperament, there is considerable vari-
ation in the manner of using the razor,
with different person^s. Some find a
long slow stroke best, while others make
it short and quick. Each man must
suit the stroke to his own convenience.
SHAVING MADE EASY. 59
But certain principles are applicable to
everybody. In the first place you should
begin with a slow even stroke, gradu-
ally increasing it as you gain better con-
trol of the razor. Speed will develop
naturally with practice.
Hold the razor quite flat upon the face.
Do not pull the razor directly down
against the beard, but hold it obliquely
to the direction of movement. In gen-
eral shave in the direction of the growth
of the beard, like this :
Shaving against the growth pulls the
hairs and thus irritates the skin, and if
the beard is heavy and wiry the edge of
the blade is quite liable to catch in the
hairs and be deflected inward and cut
Position of the Mirror.
The mirror should hang between two
windows if possible, so that when you
look into it the light will fall directly up-
6o SHAVING MADE EASY.
on both sides of your face. You will then
be able to get a good reflection of either
side. Remove the collar. To prevent
soiling- the shirt, place a towel around the
neck in an easy, comfortable manner,
pinning it at the side.
The R^ght Way to Shave
TO SHAVE THE RIGHT SIDE OF
TO SHAVE THE RIGHT SIDE OF
Reach over the head with the left
hand and with the fingers draw the
skin upward, thus making a smooth shav-
ing surface. The ilhistration shows the
proper position. Shave downward until
about half of the right cheek is shaved,
then slide the left hand still further over
until the fingers rest in the middle of
the cheek and again pull the skin up-
ward. Now continue to shave down-
ward until the entire right side of the
face is shaved clean, as far as the mid-
dle of the chin and well under the jaw.
TO SHAVE THE RIGHT SIDE OF
THE FACE UNDER THE JAW.
SHAVING MADE EASY. 65
TO SHAVE THE RIGHT SIDE OF
THE FACE UNDER THE JAW.
Hold the head over toward the left
side with the chin slightly elevated.
With the fingers of the left hand, draw
the skin tight under the jaw. Shave
downward if the beard grows in that
direction ; if not reverse the stroke. You
should never shave against the growth
when going over the face the first time,
if it can be avoided. Keep the skin as
tightly drawn as possible, for a better
shaving surface is thus presented to the-
razor, and there is less liability of cut-
TO SHAVE THE LEB^T SIDE OF
SHAVING MADE EASY. 67
TO SHAVE THE LEFT SIDE OF
Place the fingers of the left hand in
front of and just above the ear and press
upward so as to draw the skin smooth on
the upper left cheek. With the razor in
the right hand, toe pointing upward,
reach across the face as shown above,
and shave downward. In shaving the
lower part of the cheek and chin, follow
downward with the left hand, keeping
the skin tightly drawn.
TO SHAVE THE LEFT SIDE OF
THE FACE UNDER THE JAW.
SHAVING MADE EASY. 69
TO SHAVE THE LEFT SIDE OF
THE FACE UNDER THE JAW.
For many, this is the most difficult
part of the face to shave as the skin is
very tender, and unless treated gently will
soon become irritated and sore. To shave
easily, raise the chin, incline the head to-
ward the right, and draw the skin as
tight as possible with the left hand.
Shave downward unless, as sometimes
"happens, the beard grows in the opposite
direction, in which case you will, of
course, reverse the stroke.
To shave the upper lip, draw the lip
down as much as possible, to tighten the
skin. Owing to the strong muscle in the
lip, you will hardly need to use the left
"hand for this purpose.
TO SHAVE UNDER THE CHIN.
SHAVING MADE EASY. 7 1
TO SHAVE UNDER THE CHIN.
Throw the head backward and elevate
the chin. Hold the razor in the right
hand, and with the fingers of the left
hand draw the skin downward. You
should always endeavor to keep the skin
drawn as smooth as possible, for by so
doing vou will greatly lessen the liability
of cutting yourself and will be able to
shave much more easilv.
TO SHAVE UPWARD AGAINST THE
GROWTH OF THE BEARD.
SHAVING MADE EASY. 73
SHAVING OVER THE SECOND
If you desire a really clean shave, you
must go over the face the second time.
Strop the razor a few times before begin-
ning. Lather the face as before, though
it is unnecessary to rub the lather in with
the fingers. Simply put it on with the
In shaving over the face the second
time, some reverse the stroke. That is,
they shave upward against the growth of
the beard, instead of downward, as dur-
ing the first time over. This gives an
exceedingly close shave and if the beard
is stiff and heavy and the skin thin and
tender, it may make the face sore, and
cause the hairs to grow inward, under the
skin. Perhaps the best way will be to
shave lightly over the face the second
time, in the same direction as at first.
Each man should decide this point ac-
cording to his own experience.
CARE OF THE FACE AFTER
]\Iost men who shave themselves seem
to think that when they have removed
the beard, they have nothing further to
do. This is a great mistake. They un-
dervalue the importance of a proper
treatment of the face. A quick and easy
way of caring for the face after shaving,
is to remove the lather by a thorough
washing, then to apply either witch hazel,
bay rum or some other good face lotion,
and to follow this with a small quantity
of talcum powder, evenly applied. This
is probably about all that the average
man will usuallv find time to do.
SHAVING MADE EASY. 75
In order, however, to keep the skin in
a healthful condition, a little more elabo-
rate treatment should occasionally be
given. We recommend the following:
Wash the face thoroughly to free it from
the lather, and then apply a steaming hot
towel, as hot as can be borne. The heat
and moisture draw the blood to the face,
open the pores, and set up a healthful
action of the skin. Next apply witch
hazel, and finally give the face a thorough
massage. There is no other treatment so
beneficial to the skin. With many per-
sons the flow of blood to the face and
scalp is very sluggish, because of en-
feebled or slow heart action ; and in con-
sequence, the many small arteries and ca-
pillaries become clogged. Massage stimu-
lates the circulation, and brings the blood
from the inner centers to the surface,
filling the many minute capillaries just
underneath the skin, thus producing a
tonic eflfect, which gives the skin renewed
vigor and health.
y6 SHAVING MADE EASY.
\\^HAT TO DO FOR A CUT.
If a man cuts himself while shaving,
it is usually due to certain causes that
are easily avoidable. The principal
causes are six in number:
First — Attempting- to shave with a
Second — losing a sharp pointed razor.
Third — Shaving- with a razor that is
too hollow ground , so that the edge
springs and bends on the face.
Fourth — Holding the razor improp-
Fifth — Shaving upward against the
growth of the beard.
Sixth — Shaving in too great a hurry.
If you will avoid these mistakes and ex-
ercise proper care, you will seldom cut
yourself. But when you do, it will be
well to know how to treat the wound. If
it be slight, the bleeding- may sometimes
be checked by using pressure. Covering
the fingers with a towel, simply press the
cut together. If this does not stop the
SHAVING MADE EASY.
flow, use an astringent. The styptis pen-
cils, made especially for this purpose, are
the best, and may be obtained at any store
^^mx y-<^^ .PENC^
-v ' ^ ' wig M BijSg.i a ^- s^x.
where barbers' supplies are kept. In case
you should not have the pencils, alum
may be used. In any event do not be dis-
couraged, for such accidents sometimes
happen to the best barbers.
IRRITATION OF THE SKIN— ITS
CAUSE AND PREVENTION.
Sonic men almost always experience
burning and irritation of the skin after
shaving. To such, we wish to offer
some suggestions, which we hope will
greatly benefit, if not entirely prevent the
The most common cause of irritation
is undoubtedly a dull razor. If the razor
is keen and sharp, the hairs will yield
readily to the blade and no irritation will
be produced. But if the blade is dull,
instead of cutting the hairs easily, it
passes over some, slices other length-
wise, and pulls and strains at the roots
SHAVING MADE EASY. 79
of all. This necessitates scraping the face
over and over again, in order to get a
clean shave, and the result is an irrita-
tion that perhaps continues until you are
ready to shave again. Thus the tender
parts of the skin are kept in a state of
continual irritation. The remedy is of
course, to see that the razor is always
keen and sharp.
Another cause that may be mentioned,
is chafing of the neck by the collar. If
the edge of the collar is worn and rough,
and comes in contact with the tender
skin, it is sure to make it sore.
Too close shaving is a frequent cause,
and those who are troubled in this way
will do well to shave over the face but
Some of the cheap toilet waters are
adulterated, and contain ingredients
which undoubtedly produce a bad effect
on the skin. In using bay rum or other
face lotions, use only the best. If much
trouble is experienced, we should advise
the use of pure distilled witch hazel,
8o SHAVING MADE EASY.
which may be obtained at any drug store.
This is soothing to the face and allays
Sometimes the trouble is due to an
excess of alkali or potash in the soap.
The best shaving soaps are especially
prepared and have antiseptic and demul-
cent properties, which render them prac-
tically non-irritating. After shaving,
take care to remove all the soap from the
face; for during the process, the lather
has been worked into the pores of the
skin, and only by means of a thorough
washing can it all be removed.
Irritations resulting from constitu-
tional disease, or impurity of the blood,
should, of course, be treated by a phy-
Some men are more subject to irrita-
tion of the skin than others. Those who
have a thin and tender skin and a heavy
and stiff beard, are especially liable, but
with care, even these may prevent most
of the trouble.